The values of global citizenship education and implications for social justice

Hatley, Jenny and Jackson, Carolyn (2018) The values of global citizenship education and implications for social justice. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals promotes Global Citizenship Education as a vehicle to develop the skills, values and attitudes of learners so that they may work towards the resolution of the interconnected challenges facing the world today. Underpinning UNESCO’s approach to global citizenship education are ‘Universal Values’ said to apply to all people everywhere on the basis of a common humanity. I adopt the position that values act as motivators of action and that values also enable evaluation of which actions are deemed desirable and worthwhile. Which values are promoted can motivate action in directions which may serve some agendas over others. With the critique that UNESCO furthers the dominance of western powers, the role of universal values to motivate the action of global citizens towards mutual human wellbeing or towards action that serves the powerful, becomes a key area for analysis. Using a multimodal critical discourse analysis of 8 key documents within UNESCO’s Global Citizenship Education, I argue that UNESCO exhibit a controlled narrative around values and have defined the ‘appropriate’ global citizen. In so doing, UNESCO influence the subjectivities of global citizens according to UNESCO’s agenda and this furthers the agenda of western powers. Further, I argue that UNESCO’s values are abstract and divorced from social contexts. This denies recognition of alternative values and ways of doing global citizenship more suited to local contexts potentially engendering greater participation as global citizens. Drawing on Fraser’s concept of justice as Participatory Parity, I argue that UNESCO’s misrecognition of these alternatives is unjust and further that this is potentially generative of the injustices of misrepresentation and maldistribution, compounding a lack of participatory parity. I conclude that UNESCO must afford recognition to alternative values and ways of doing global citizenship such that global citizenship education becomes more socially just.

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Thesis (PhD)
?? global citizenshipsocial justicevalueseducationrecognitionparticipatory parityfraser ??
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26 Jul 2018 15:10
Last Modified:
05 Jun 2024 23:41